The Boyne landfill site in Winchester is gearing up for household hazardous waste days. Morin photo

NORTH DUNDAS – The Covid-19 restrictions have impacted on every aspect of life for North Dundas residents and on municipal operations including the landfill site.

Doug Froats, the director of Waste Management for North Dundas gave councillors an update on what stage the landfill site was at regarding the various stages of re-opening.

He announced that the planned Sat., June 20 Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) day had been cancelled.

“We just cannot function with having a hundred and some vehicles coming through.” said Froats. He added, “Our means of getting around that is to open the landfill site on Thurs., July 2., starting at eight in the morning until four in the afternoon.”

The HHW facility would be open by appointment only. “Then we would be able to maintain that distance between individuals utilizing it and we could also ask those people what they are actually bringing so that we can gauge how we can package the materials,” Froats said.

He added that some changes were necessary at the HHW facility before they could open it.

“If everything is ready, we would be able to hold our first Saturday HHW day as previously advertised, on July 18 from 8 a.m. to noon, but by appointment only.”

Mayor Fraser said, “It is good to see that we are moving forward through Phase 2 of COVID-19 and that we are getting back to some level of normal, at least at our landfill.”

In his report to council on June 16 Froats wrote: “Since the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been a number of changes to the operating procedures at the Boyne Road Landfill site and waste management.”

He said a large number of residents were working from home and self-isolating which resulted in increased household waste. Council responded by temporarily increasing the curb side bag limit from two bags a week to three bags a week to relieve some of the stress for  residents. The landfill site was closed for all entry (residents, contractors, etc.) to protect municipal staff.

Froats said, “Within days of closing the landfill, restrictions were lessened to allow our farming and business community the ability to remove their waste.”

His report stated: “Restrictions were also lessened for residents who contacted the landfill with an essential need to access the landfill because of a need to remove waste, due to basement flooding or residents moving into or out of our community.”

On April 27 the landfill site was re-opened for North Dundas residents, businesses and contractors working in the township, however it was by appointment only, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Froats said, “To protect our staff and maintain physical distancing, only three vehicles were allowed to enter every half hour.”

Since May 25 the landfill site has been operating at regular hours of 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. with no appointment necessary. Staff widened the waste face to make room for another vehicle to enter. Now the site at Boyne Road can accommodate four vehicles, while still maintaining physical distancing.

“We opened for our first Saturday on June 6 ‘with two employees present,’” said Froats.

He added, “We are hoping to open two Saturdays per month with the second Saturday being the scheduled HHW day for that month. If everything goes well, we will progress to being open every Saturday as we did before.”

Deputy mayor Al Armstrong mentioned how important it was to alert as many residents as possible to the changes regarding the HHW day. Mayor Fraser suggested councillors make sure residents were aware of the recycle coach app that was available. The app would alert residents of any changes they needed to be aware of. Residents can download the app for free from the Google play store or the Apple app store.